Can atherosclerosis be cured?

John T. Wilkins, Samuel S. Gidding, Jennifer G. Robinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of reviewDetermine if evidence supports interventions to prevent development of atherosclerosis and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) events and death.Recent findingsAn extensive body of evidence supports the fundamental causal role of apolipoprotein B lipoproteins in the development of atherosclerosis. Recent epidemiologic studies have shown that LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C) and non-HDL-cholesterol levels in early adults are associated with accelerated subclinical atherosclerosis and an excess of atherosclerotic cardiovascular events later in life. Animal and human data have shown that intensive LDL-C lowering can regress earlier stages of atherosclerosis.SummaryThe next research priority is evaluating the impact of lowering LDL-C earlier in life to regress early atherosclerosis, followed by trials to demonstrate this approach will eradicate later-life ASCVD events and death. This approach of curing atherosclerosis will likely be the most effective strategy for reducing the huge global burden of atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-484
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent opinion in lipidology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • atherosclerosis regression
  • intensive LDL-cholesterol lowering
  • primordial prevention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Cell Biology

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